Also called Pek Muhterem Hanımefendi on occasion. Photographer. Thinks. Writes. Gives many damns.

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  1. "At least she is alive. And I don’t think IS would behead women. It’s not their “style”."

     - Things I Never Thought I’d Say Vol. 4
  2. Today was spent on a road less travelled. Today was spent on a road less travelled.
    High Resolution

    Today was spent on a road less travelled.

  3. Found: Blood on the Ground

  4. Cindy Gallop: Make love, not porn

    I’ve only just discovered Cindy Gallop and her work. 

    If I ever have children, rather than trying to prevent them from looking at porn - because let’s face it, that’s not going to work unless I ensure that they have no internet access ever - I am going to show them Make Love Not Porn, (and probably unwittingly prove in the process that Mummy is not ‘old-fashioned’ in her understanding of sex and porn). 

  5. I just hugged a friend good-bye. I hugged her very tightly. 

    She about to start a journey to try to get to Europe through illegal means. She has exhausted all other possibilities, spent hours scouring official websites of embassies and filling out immigration forms. But to no avail. There is so much that can go wrong with her odyssey: capsizing boats, detention centres, human traffickers, border police, mafia, deportation, death.   

    • Susan: So you're saying that humans need fantasies to make life bearable?
    • DEATH: No. Humans need fantasy to be human. To be the place where the fallen angel meets the rising ape.
    • Susan: With Toothfairies? Hogfathers?
    • DEATH: Yes. As practice, you have to start out learning to believe the little lies.
    • Susan: So we can believe the big ones?
    • DEATH: Yes. Justice, Mercy, Duty. That sort of thing.
  6. "People look for proof of their beliefs when they are young, when they are charged with hope. Many give up at what seems a very early age. They prefer the comfort of denial, of nothing with a small ‘n’, a rubbish nothing, easily shouldered aside by music, appetites, money, entertainment and controversy culture, stuff."

     - A great piece by poet Robert Twigger on silence in the Sahara. I have always had a thing for deserts and expansive arid landscapes. I remember when traveling through the UK when I was young, I would find the constant peak of a building or the abundance of trees nearly claustrophobic. 
  7. "When I was a student at Cambridge I remember an anthropology professor holding up a picture of a bone with 28 incisions carved in it. “This is often considered to be man’s first attempt at a calendar” she explained. She paused as we dutifully wrote this down. ‘My question to you is this – what man needs to mark 28 days? I would suggest to you that this is woman’s first attempt at a calendar.’ It was a moment that changed my life. In that second I stopped to question almost everything I had been taught about the past. How often had I overlooked women’s contributions?"

     -

    Sandi Toksvig

    (via breathe-squeeze-follow-through)

  8. I’m listening to this song a lot these days. It has this edgy boredom that reminds me of a time where I seemed to have endless time but no money. 

  9. "The Russian slang word for a gangster is ‘biznizman’, and many ordinary Russians are unable to understand the difference between a businessman and a crook."

     - Brian Johnson-Thomas, a UN weapons inspector who met Victor Bout, otherwise known as the Merchant of Death, in 1996. A biopic of Victor Bout will be released later on this month.
  10. "What continues to amaze and irritate those charged with the task of forcing Egypt to see the irrefutable logic of choosing the new orthodoxy of development (neoliberlalism) as the way out of the current impasse is that Egyptian decision makers remain surprisingly unwilling to take the requisite steps to put the program in place. One such individual, an official in the economic section of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, had become so frustrated by the end of his posting that he resorted to racialist interpretations. He bemoaned to the author that the inability of Egyptians to grasp the seriousness of their plight and to comprehend that liberalization offered the only real hope for salvation was due to a deterioration of their racial stock as a result of generations of endogamous marriages and immigration of the more talented."

     - Robert Springborg, “Mubarak’s Egypt” (via postcolonialfeminist)
  11. "Allah’tan umut kesilmez; lojistikten kesilir."

     -

    Things I Never Thought I’d Say Vol. 3

    A bit tricky to translate but this is as close as I can get to the heart of the meaning: “In God we trust; in logistics we don’t.” This is a reflection on how I feel most days. 

  12. A View From Sarajevo A View From Sarajevo
    High Resolution

    A View From Sarajevo

  13. "Tell them to hurry up; I’ve missed midday prayers and I’m getting calls from the office. I came just to help you guys."

     -

    Things I Never Thought I’d Say Hear Vol. 2

    This particular comment was said by a low ranking local Turkish government official during distribution of basic items to Syrian refugee families that we had identified as been in dire need. While I suppressing the urge to give me several pieces of my mind, I politely explained to him we were working as fast as possible and offered that he left at his own convenience.  

    This man, who was desperate to throw his weight around (unsurprising given that he was as wide as he was tall), also took enormous delight in taking credit for the delivered aid. Not that anyone in my team cared, after all we are doing our duty; this is not charity. 

    I did wonder what his understanding of Islam and its pillars were exactly. Is there an ranking system I am unaware of that deems salat (prayer)more important than zakat (alms)? Or perhaps it’s a downloadable app. 


  14. High Resolution
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